Where I Belong

I never knew where I was going. Why I was going or what was going to be there? All I knew was that I was that I was going to get there and it would be better than being here. I just had to figure out how I was going to get there.

Let's start with introductions. I am a tall, red head, with green eyes and pale skin. I am seventeen going on eighteen. I am different and one day I found out why. It all started when my jock best friend told me a secret. My life went downhill from there.

My name is Shawn Brown and I have been labeled the school emo, a loner even though Jessie is always with me. Jessie was the school jock and was often mocked for being my friend. We were close knowing each other for over ten years. Jessie was tall, blonde, smart and fit.

School was the worst of my problems 'cause I was always smarter then everyone in my grade and it was easier then actually trying. My home life was hard and it was always worst because I never fit in. My mom- Susan Jackson had her perfect family with her husband Andrew and her four year old daughter Suzy. I use to live with my father- Gray after the divorce but he died in a car crash leaving me with mommy dearest. My mom doesn't really love me, I remind her too much of dad.

I was currently lying on Jessie's bed, my music pounding through the house. Jessie was sitting at his desk beside his door with his pencil gliding across the page of his sketchbook. Jessie soft side was what girls loved best about him.

My phone rang and I pulled it from my pocket checking the caller id, my mom. I hit the green phone button putting my mom on speaker as I sat up to turn the music down.

"What Susan?" I said making Jessie look up at me. He flipped the page and started to sketch another picture.

"Don't call me that, I am your mother." She said probably pacing in her semi-worried way. "You missed last period and you got into another fight." Mom sighed clearly irritated. "Why do you always have to be such a pain in the ass?"

"Oh mother. That isn't my job, that's yours, bitch." I said making Jessie chuckle.

"Don't call me a bitch," Mom said loudly. I heard her move from the phone to talk to Suzy. "No, honey don't say that word honey." She placed the phone back to her mouth, "You get your skinny ass home by four thirty."

"Shawnee got a skinny ass!" Suzy screamed in the background before mom hung up the phone.

I laughed looking over at Jessie who was laughing too. I checked the time on my phone noticing it was nearly four and that I'd have to leave soon. I sighed falling back onto the bed. I stared at the skylight watching the clouds float past by it.

The room was quiet but for the music. Leaning up on my elbows I watched Jessie sketch for a long minute before breaking his concentration. "What are you drawing, Jess?"

Jess' slim, lean body jerked in surprise and his pencil paused. "Um … it's just a picture." His muttered answer sounded more like a question.

"Can I see it?" I asked making Jess glance at me. His tan skin was darkening in a blush and his blue eyes were filled with embarrassment. Jess shook his head making his shaggy blond hair fall into eyes. Unexpected rejection flooded me and I felt fear race through me. I nodded my head at him trying to hide the emotions that suddenly raged through me.

I lay back on the bed gazing, blankly at the clear blue sky. I distinctly heard Jess sigh as his wheelie chair creaked. His huge king bed dipped in the spot beside me as Jessie lay on the bed.

"Shawnee." Jess called to me trying to make me look at him. I stubbornly refused to look at him. Jess sighed again. "I was going to give the sketchbook as a birthday present. But you can have it early if you want."

I turned to look at my best friend in the world and smiled at him. I could never be anger at Jess beside he needed privacy too and I felt bad for prying into his business. "You sure Jess?" I asked quietly. Jess nodded brushing my red hair from my face. I sat up and wrapped my arms around Jess pulling him close to me. Jess wrapped my in his strong arms letting the heat from his body warm me.

We stayed in the hug for a long minute before I pulled away from Jess. I slid from his bed and picked up my messenger bag. Pulling it on I tried to smooth the wrinkles from my black hoodie. Moving closer to Jess' desk I pulled on my grey converses before slipping the sketch book into my bag.

Looking back at Jess' I found him starting at me with a dazed look on his face and something odd sparkling in his eyes. I smiled over at him, leaning my head to the right. "I've got to go Jess. I'll see you soon thou, right?" Jess nodded over at me still looking dazed.

Tugging my iPod from the dock I plugged my headphones in as I left the room. Walking through the white hall I was reminded about how mom once was poorer than average and that now that Andrew made her rich, she was a snobby bitch. I had started to notice something weird was happening in the house. I knew mom was doing her best to keep Suzy and I in the dark but I think Suzy knew more then she let on, and so did I.

I never really liked Andrew -there was a vibe about him that just told me he was bad news. I had just reached the top of the giant spiral stairwell when Jess' door opened. Jess stepped into the hallway his face set into a mask of determination.

I paused at the top and watched him stalk towards me in a very predatorily way, that I nearly expected him to growl. He reached for me placing his hands on my hip and grabbing a chunk of hair. He leaned over my smaller body, panting on my lips before press his cracked pink lips to mine. I gasped in shock, letting Jess slip his tongue into my mouth.

I stood frozen in mild confusion as Jess pulled me closer to him, every part of me touching him. I moaned softly in his mouth, even as I felt my body fill with disgust at what I was feeling. My best friend was kissing me. My best guy friend was doing things that only girls should know. My body finally buzzed back to life and I pushed Jess away. Wiping the taste of him off my lips, I stepped away from him.

"What the fuckwas that?" I nearly yelled; confused and anger by Jess attacking me.

Jess's eyes were closed in semi-bliss before I had started to yell. They snapped open to reveal his ever gorgeous blue eyes. He smiled softly his eyes gazing through my soul. "We–you and I have wanted to do that for a long time." I stared stunned by Jess. He may known me better then I knew myself sometimes, but right now he was way off.

"I'll tell you a secret Shawnee, not only did you enjoyed it, you loved it." Jess whispered moving closer to me. "But not just that but you love me like I love you." Jess' words were spoken in confidence but I heard the shaking fear in his voice.

"What about Brittani?" I asked hoping he'd see sense.

"Brittani already knew. She's been rooting for us since day one." Jess replied smoothly.

I was going to lose Jess to something I forgot I could feel sometimes. I stared at Jess for a long moment trying to see the love that he spoke of. Disgust and hate flooded my body even as I tried to think about loving Jess. Shaking my head I pushed past Jess racing down the stairs.

"Shawn! Don't fight who you are! I love you, Shawn!" Jess called after me. I reached the front door turning to see Jess standing in the spot that I had left him. Tears streamed down his tan face that was twisted in agony. I gazed at my best friend in the world wishing I could comfort him. But before I could change my mind; I turned from the sight and ran. The door slammed behind me blocking out Jess' face and the sound of my heart break from unknown pain.

It had started to rain on my way home but I barely even noticed. I had gone to the park where I first met Jessie and sat on the swings. My emotions swirled around inside of me, blending together so I couldn't tell the difference. After what seemed like hours of just sitting in the rain staring at nothing I started to walk home.

By the time I got home the rain had finally stopped but I was still soaked through. I felt like a wet rat. Dirty, and something no one would ever love. I stopped in front of Andrew's high class house to see all the lights off. I stared at it for a long minute feeling like I was at the wrong place. This is not where I belonged.

The porch light suddenly flicked on and the door swung open. My mom stood in the doorway peering at me. Before she could say anything my name echoed through the whole neighbourhood.

"Shawnee!" I caught the small black, white and purple blur that ran at me. Placing Suzy on my hip, I soak her in water. Her green eyes (which were so much like mine) were filled with concern. "You worry me and mommy! We could not find you! I was swared. Don't leave Suzy, Shawnee. I love you. Don't leave Suzy." My sister's fierce green eyes started to fill with tears as she ended her little speech.

I let her lay her black head of hair on my shoulder as I tried to sooth her. "I'm sorry Suzy; I didn't mean to scare you. I love you too Suzy."

Suzy looked up at me with tears running down her face, "Pwomise?"

"Promise what? That I love you?" I asked making Suzy shake her head quickly.

"Pwomise that you won't leave Suzy?" She whispered to me seriously.

I looked over at mom to see if she heard what Suzy said, but she was in her own world watching the cars pass. Looking back at Suzy I smiled at her, "I promise that if I go, you will come with me."

Suzy beamed at me and held out her pinky. Linking my pinky with her's I kissed her check softly. As I pulled away from Suzy she placed a sloppy kiss on my check. My mom seemed to finally snap out of her trace as she called us inside. I wiped the tears from Suzy's face as she rambled on about her day.

It had been nearly two weeks and I was avoiding Jessie as best as I could. Jessie noticed, the whole school noticed and were bullying for putting their star player off his game. If only they knew how off his rocker Jess was, maybe he wouldn't be all high and mighty.

I was sitting at the back of my favourite class (art) barely paying attention, for once in my life. We were sketching someone very important to us. Another day I might have been sketching Jessie but my mind was stuck on Suzy. She had been acting out for the past week and I just noticed that mom was wearing more makeup then needed. Was Andrew beating her again? Was Suzy being hurt?

"Brown!" Looking up I realized Miss Parker was standing over my desk. "Artist may daydream but do it on paper."

I nodded pulling my sketchbook from my bag as Miss Parker moved to bother the next poor sucker. Flipping to a random page of my sketchbook I was surprised by the picture that stared back at me. It was a very detailed picture of me. I was sitting on one of Jessie pool chairs sleeping. I was still wet and water was dripping down my body.

My mouth ran dry as I realized this was Jessie sketchbook; the one that he was very reluctant about giving to me. I had forgotten completely about the sketchbook but now that I was looking at it I couldn't stop.

I felt compelled to finish it. Flipping to the front of the sketchbook I saw the date in the left corner with Jessie's familiar signature. The picture was dated two years ago and was very amateur. It was the day my friend Jessica broke my heart I had went to Jessie's house crying my heart out. The picture was of me gazing out Jessie's window with tears running down my face.

Under the picture in Jessie's barely legible writing was; "She broke your heart and made you cry. Watching you so heartbroken broke my heart and that day I knew."

I sucked in a deep breath, he had known for two years. He had loved me for two years and watched me rise and fall each day holding himself back. I felt my chest tighten feeling like I had betrayed my best friend. I flipped through the pages watching Jessie's art grow better, reading each thought he wrote. Watching the days past as his love for me, grew.

I finally reached the second last page; it was a barely finished picture of me lying on Jessie's bed, the last time I was there. Under the picture was; "What would you do if you knew? Would you tell me you love me too? Or would you break my heart just like she did to you?"

Flipping the page I was saw the finally picture that Jessie would draw for me. Me sitting on his bed leaning on my knee with my phone on the other one, a smile dancing on my lips as I talked with my mom. Under it unlike the others was three simple words, "I love you."

I choked back tears as the bell rang telling me school had ending. I shot up from my chair shoving the sketchbook back into my bag. Rushing from the class I let my feet lead me to the ever familiar place. I pushed away the fear that came in the form of disgust. Maybe this had always been part of me; maybe deep down inside of me I always knew that I loved him. I was just waiting, waiting for him to tell me the right words to show me what it was like to love.

My feet started to slow as my eyes found Jessie standing in front of his locker. He was surrounded by his friends but he looked sad and dejected. I was panting hard and I barely noticed tears running down my face. I felt my lips lift in a smile as I moved closer to Jessie.

Jessie looked up and his eyes found mine. He moved from where he was leaning not noticing people still trying to talk to him. My phone suddenly vibrated and I pulled it out still gazing into Jessie's eyes. Flipping it open I place it near my ear.

"Shawnee?" Suzy's voice flooded through the phone and my eyes moved from Jessie's at the sound of her soft voice. She sniffled, telling me she was crying.

"Suzy, what's going on? Where's mom?" I asked turning away from Jessie missing the way his eyes fell.

"Daddy's anger Shawnee, he said Mommy made you into a faggot," Suzy broke off into a fit of sobs confused by what was going on.

"It's okay Suzy. Tell me where you are?" I asked softly trying to soothe her. My feet started to move as all I could think about was getting to Suzy before anything bad could happen to her.

"I'm in Shawnee's room. Daddy's yelling at Mommy and Mommy told me to hide. Daddy started to hit Mommy." Suzy said her voice hoarse, as she sniffled again.

I felt relief found through me. My room was on the first floor and the window was close enough to the ground that Suzy could get out. "Okay Suzy I need you to go to my window, its open right?"

I heard Suzy moved around before she replied softly, "Right."

"Okay Suzy climb out the window and hide behind the bushes." I heard Suzy sniffle again. "Once your outside you need to call 911 okay and tell them what you told me, okay Suzy?"

"Okay Shawnee."

"Now I need to hang up, okay Suzy?" I asked softly knowing what her reaction would be.

"No, Shawnee!" Suzy yelled in fright. I heard a door slam open through the phone, "No, Daddy! Daddy don't!" Suzy screamed before the phone was pulled from her.

"Suzy? Suzy! Suzy are you okay?" I yelled, before a voice made me freeze.

"You think you can save them you faggot! This is all your fault! You and your stupid gay boyfriend have tainted my family!" The angry voice of Andrew flooded the phone before it went dead. I stared at the phone for a long minute before my feet started to move.

I punched in the number 911 feeling numb as I told them where to go. I finally reach the house as the lady asked me to stay on the phone. I dropped the phone at the sound of my mom screaming. Racing into the house I was met with the sight of a destroyed living room.

"Andrew, please don't do this! She's your daughter Andrew! Take me instead! Andrew please!" Mom screamed before a louder screamed drowned her out. Fear rushed through me before anger flooded through me. Suzy.

I raced up the stairs to see Suzy's room at the top with the door wide open. Mom was tied to Suzy's window tears running down her bruised face. Andrew was on the bed Suzy's tiny body kicking underneath his skinny one. My vision was blurred red as I pushed Andrew off my little sister. We rolled to the floor and I wrapped my fingers around his neck.

Pushing hard I started to hit his head against the wood floor. Suzy and mom were still screaming but my voice was louder then both of theirs. "You don't fucking touch my sister again! You dare try that again and I'll kill you!"

I was suddenly being pulled away and sound reached my ears. The police were here untying mom and trying to calm Suzy. Pulling away from the cops that held me I pulled Suzy into my arms, calming her down.

I watched as they raced mom to the hospital, and Andrew away for life.

She was dead. Fucking Andrew killed my mom, we weren't close but what broke me was how Suzy kept calling to her confused by why she didn't answer. I was going to be Suzy's legal guardian in a week and they couldn't peel her away from me so she wasn't going into foster care. Suzy hadn't been touched by Andrew but she was still pretty shaken about it, the doctors said she was in shock but she should be fine.

I was standing in front of only place where I knew Suzy and I would be safe. I had just rang the doorbell and now I was waiting for the door to open. Suzy and I were still in the bloody clothes from today and we where a mess.

The door swung open and standing in the bright lit doorway was my knight in rusted armor. He stared shocked at me before tears ran down his face. He pulled Suzy and me into his arms. The shocked Suzy hugged Jessie as I sobbed letting all the emotions from today leave my body.

We were pulled into the warmth from Jessie's house and we stood in the door way crying. After hours I pulled away letting Jessie hold Suzy who was starting to fall asleep. Staring up at Jessie I felt like this is where I belonged. I had been looking for this place my whole life and know that I had found it, I felt at peace.

Jessie place his other arm over my shoulder hold me close to him. He placed a kiss on my forehead bringing me back to the real world. Looking back at him I let him place a soft kiss on my lips. Maybe this was what love was like. Maybe this was all just God's plan; all I knew was that this is where Suzy and I belong.